Thomas Morrow, H.F. Sakeek, A. Elastal, Bill Graham, D George Walmsley

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The plasma produced during laser ablation deposition of thin film YBCO has been studied by optical emission spectroscopy. There is evidence of increased YO band emission in the range 590-625 nm as the ambient oxygen gas pressure confining the plume is increased in the range 30-200 m Torr. Temporal profiles show that close to the target the plume is insensitive to ambient oxygen pressure. It is deduced that the optical emission here is excited by electron impact excitation. Further away from the target there is evidence that two distinct processes are at work. One is again electron excitation; the emission from this process decreases with distance because the expanding plume cools and collisions become less frequent in the expanding gas. The second is driven by oxidation of atomic species expelled at high speeds from the target. The main region of this activity is in the plume sheath where a shock front ensures heating of ambient O2 and reaction of monatomic plasma species to form oxide in an exothermic reaction. Spatial mapping of the emission demonstrates clearly how increasing oxygen gas pressure confines the plasma and enhances the emission intensity from the molecular YO species ejected from the target in a smaller region close to the target. Ba+ is observed as a dominant species only very close to (within 1 mm of) the target. Absorption spectra have been taken in an attempt to examine ground state and cool species in the plume. They reveal the quite surprising result that YO persists in the chamber for periods up to 1 msec. This suggests an explanation for the recent report of off-axis laser deposition in terms of simple condensation. Previously, quasi-ballistic transfer of material from target to substrate has been considered the only significant process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-828
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Superconductivity
Publication statusPublished - 1994


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